LAYLA for the Manuel Family — LA

layla-1Michael and Katie Manuel are proud parents to 5 (almost 6) amazing children. They started their family about 12 years ago when they welcomed home their first baby girl. Through the years they continued to have 2 more biological children. As they grew their family they never thought having 6 children, both through biology and adoption, was the journey they would take. But they knew all along they would adopt one day. Katie, has always had adoption on her heart even as a young girl. Both Michael and Katie share a heart for children with special needs and adopted their son, who was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect through domestic adoption. They continued to grow their family through adoption and welcomed home another son from Asia a few years later. Feeling like their family was complete, but still desiring to make a difference in the lives of orphans, the Manuel family decided to host a special 12 yr old girl over the Christmas holidays. Katie states “We saw her picture and knew she was special, we had no idea why we chose this specific girl, but we knew we were supposed to”. This amazing girl is known as “Layla” on Reece’s Rainbow. She is 12 years old and rocks an extra chromosome! Knowing her country has an aging out rule, they knew how important it would be to advocate for this sweet girl to find a family before she turned 14. She had a ticking clock on her future. The Manuel’s completely stepped into this process with Advocate only intentions. They have a special place in their heart for children with down syndrome and telling the world how amazing these kids can be. They had a plan to share her story daily so that the world could see how amazing she is, and she could find a forever family during her time in the U.S. Little did they know, she would steal their hearts. From day one, both the family and this sweet girl made a life changing connection. She filled their home with love and laughter every single day. Through much prayer and discussion, they knew what the right decision would be. Sweet girl was their daughter! This girl is a treasure! They could not imagine her fate if she was to remain in her birth country. Although it is apparent that she is well loved, because of her special needs, she would go to a special needs home at the age of 18. They also found out that she would be the very first child with Down syndrome to be adopted from this orphanage! They are so excited that a life in America is so bright and beautiful and full of opportunity for this sweet girl despite her needs. The Manuel family was so sad for their 4 weeks together to come to an end, but have great hope they will see each other again soon. They now have their daughter’s picture hanging on the wall. 3 sons and 3 daughters take their place in the frames of their home.

Michael and Katie are trusting the Lord for provision to bring their daughter back home. Funding another adoption was not the game plan for this family, but they know the Lord will provide through overtime, fundraising, and grants. Any support through prayer or monetary donation is highly appreciated.

8/10/17 —TA RECEIVED

$10,197.00 has been donated towards the cost of our adoption!

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Layla has received a $15,000 Older Child Grant.